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9:18 AM on 02.26.2008

SNK Manuals From the Past: Art of Fighting

I used to translate old SNK manuals for their re-release on Virtual Console. I worked on a series of titles: Art of Fighting, Fatal Fury, King of Fighters '94, Top Hunter, Blue's Journey, even Baseball Stars 2. In order to provide me with more information on which to base my translations, they used to send me the old English manuals in .pdf form along with transcripts of their newer editions.

That series of jobs ended a few months ago, and I realize that I still have all the old original manuals in .pdfs on my PC. The artwork and the writing are fairly unique in that "so-horrible-it-has-got-to-be-a-classic" kind of way, they really bring back nostalgia of that bygone era.

So, while I work away at a far meatier and longer blog-post that's been in construction for a few weeks, I decided I'd start uploading these old manuals to so you guys can take a peek at them. It wouldn't help to revitalize this blog a little.

I've got four manuals total, so I'll be dividing all the images up into four consecutive daily posts (one for each manual), so stay tuned in this week. Here's the first one:


SUPER REAL ACTION GAME! For when reality alone isn't enough there are SUPER REAL pixelated fighters kneeing each other on the head on your TV. Other signs of a SUPER REAL ACTION GAME are artistic representations of a young Steven Seagal, angry Asians, lightning, and kabuki masks with huge noses.

Why does the Italian character have a name that is typically Spanish? I don't know, anything can happen in the world of Art of Fighting, even training an infant to perform lethal karate. Why? - Hey, it's up to you!!!

Ah, the old Neo-Geo controller... the only controller in which the SELECT button paused the game while the START button did absolutely nothing.

More SUPER REAL kneeing.

'Dazzling story screens' in 1992 meant sprited cars and yelling.

Creepy Steven Seagal and creepy Ken say 'YES!' to looking directly at the sun, and a stern 'NO' to being off guard after you start the game. Don't do it!

Above you can see the TRUE, SUPER REAL MANLY ACTION GAME way to open bottles and make crushed ice. If you don't open your bottles and make your ice this way, then you are a big, floppy vagina, and you'll never, ever unlock the ULTRA-SUPER ATTACK SCREEN, the MANLIEST, SUPER REAL screen of them all (even more so than 'dazzling story screens') - IT'S ULTRA-SUPER!

Seductively calling over obese men in small coats while they are trying to shit is never a good idea. It will lower their SPIRIT (not to be confused with the lower-case version of the word). Also, cosplaying in Southtown will lead to you getting the shit kicked out of.

Gay men dancing by a dumpster. Look at those impressive dancing shoes!

"Oooooh, that stings!" - Steaven Seagal hates dreadlocks.

Ryo's ankles creep the shit out of me. ('Study these carefully, YOUR LIFE MAY DEPEND ON IT' should be a motivational poster in schools.)

To be effective, you must hit rightly the opponent! Don't forget, and do depress those A and B buttons!

What are Ryo, Steven Seagal, and Ryuhaku yelling about? Why is Jack Turner giving me such a naughty look? Why is John Crawley so upset? No one knows, and King certainly doesn't seem to care.

The 'Thousand-Kick Crunch' actually seems to involve three-armed punching. Good thing
you've got that good ol' 'Lighting Legs Knock-Out Kick' if your own lighting isn't very bright.

Steven Seagal boogies out to the beat! Twist and shout baby!

"Gonna get you drunk, get you drunk off my sexy layer-lumps"

Jack Turner entered the bear scene a few years ago, learning his infamous, devastating bubble-gum taunt at a local gay bar.

The Hundred Blows of Hurt?... Seriously just don't mess with Lee Pai Long, he directs a prison AND knows ancient Chinese medicine. There's no way you can beat this bad-ass.

...unless you're Steven Seagal.


Another bad-ass... he's so angry about killing a man that he vents his frustration by killing men. A strange stress-reliever.

...Mega Smash? The Killing Machine? He's got friends? Where'd the 'E' in 'Crawley' go?

Stay tuned for more embarrassing 90's manuals with annoying commentary by me. And please, leave me a comment voting for your favorite ridiculous phrase in this manual, I'd love to see the results.   read

5:59 AM on 02.07.2008

The Chozo: Metroid's Stellar Panhandlers?

If you've had the fortune of playing a Metroid title, you'll surely have met the Chozo:

Samus' mysterious and extinct, bird-like adoptive alien race. They picked her up as an orphan, infused her with their blood, and gifted her with a power-suit, all while Child Services observed in utter horror, surely. Their civilization was based almost entirely on the cultivation and gathering of knowledge, and as such was incredibly developed in comparison to its contemporaries - so go figure why they didn't foresee and avoid their untimely deaths at the hands of dimwitted, brutish Space Pirates and phazon poisoning.

Luckily, they left their elegant little princess plenty of ruins and statues built in their likeness, all for her to explore and stain with the blood of space-pirate scum. However, it seems that experts have up until now ignored an obvious truth about this extinct race that might help explain their inevitable deaths.

They were all greedy, lousy hobos.

This is a rather straightforward and easy conclusion to make, as anybody would be able to tell you by looking at the numerous statues that litter the Chozo’s abandoned homes. The majority of these sculptures depict the average Chozo as a bum, huddled up in one corner (obviously trying to preserve body-heat in the bitter cold that pierces his rags) with the typically outstretched cupped hands that identify any miserable panhandler.

In fact, often these statues can be triggered into animation by positioning a large, coin-like object in their hand.

As cannot be denied by this impeccable graphical comparison.

Some of these statues are even programmed to act in great likeness to their authentic, homeless, counterparts, running away hurriedly as soon as they get their hands around your money-like objects.

Taking this obvious truth into account, scholars of the Chozo can now finally explain to themselves how such an intelligent race, at the peak of galactic technological development, could so easily fall prey to cretins of the likes of the space pirates: they were probably tricked with a handful of quarters, or a few hot sandwiches, just like all those hobos that were burnt alive in the New York City subways a few years ago. It's surprising, and rather sad, what desperate men, or Chozo, will do for a fistful of dollars.

Like coming back from the dead.

It is said that the most desperate of the homeless Chozo return from dead as ghosts, tied forever to the mortal plane by their insatiable thirst for loose change, doomed to haunt the ruins of their civilization until the end-days.

These paranormal hobos often look flimsy and grotesquely skeletal, very much like they did while alive - but do not underestimate their power or their tenacity, for added to their regular, empowering madness for coinage is the fury of the undead. There are many reports of groups of Chozo ghosts mugging women who entered their ruins, particularly if those that happen to resemble money-like objects. (Such an attack can be witnessed here… although it may be rather hard to tell exactly who’s mugging who)

So please, if you happen to stumble across some mysterious Chozo ruins, mind your money-like objects and your money-like women! Not even death can keep this unemployed race from begging for money at the dirtiest crossways of the universe.   read

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